City wasting resources on climate conferenceWritten by Jeff Tucker | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Oct. 4, the City of Toledo’s Division of Environmental Services will host a “National Conversation on Climate Change” at the University of Toledo. According to the National Conversation on Climate Change Web site, “mayors and other local government leaders across the U.S. will convene meetings in 60 communities to discuss the science and what is needed to solve global warming as part of the first annual National Conversation on Climate Action.”
It is my belief that our elected officials and city employees have no business participating in, much less “hosting” such an event. Why do I feel this way? Even the most die-hard “global warming” enthusiast has no choice but to admit that “global warming” is, at best, theory. One of the sponsoring organizations of the event in question, the Local Government Environmental Assistance Agency (LGEA), states in its Climate Change Issue Summary, “There is a strong sentiment that the continued buildup of greenhouse gases will cause global temperatures to increase and global and regional weather patterns to change, resulting in severe weather events such as floods, storms and droughts, as well as a rise in sea level.” I remember the year 1975, when we were being warned of the impending ice age that man was in the process of causing, and I happen to have a “strong sentiment” that “global warming” is a load of bunk.
In addition, I also have a “strong sentiment” that the citizens of Toledo shouldn’t have to pay for a bunch of tree huggers to get together and discuss ways to keep themselves in business. (I don’t use the term “tree huggers” lightly. Another of the National Conversation on Climate Action’s sponsors is the Grand Poobah of all tree huggers — The Sierra Club.) If our city is helping to pay the bill for the event, that means, as taxpayers, you and I are paying that bill. I spoke with Casey Stevens, the commissioner of the Division of Environmental Services, and he assured me that it wasn’t going to cost the city anything to host the event. I suggested to Mr. Stevens that if “time is money,” and city employees are promoting, organizing and producing the event, then the forum is indeed costing the city money — to which Mr. Stevens responded, “Certainly.” The administration of the City of Toledo should be spending time and money on issues based in fact. Facts such as this: as of March 2007, the city’s budget deficit for this year was projected to be $12 million. This is no time for our city officials to be pursuing politically correct pet projects founded on “strong sentiment.”
The mission statement for the Department of Environmental Services can be found on the department’s page at the City of Toledo’s Web site. It reads: “Environmental Services ensures environmentally safe air and water for the Toledo Metropolitan Area.” I asked Mr. Stevens if he could explain to me the correlation between ensuring environmentally safe air and water for Toledo, and a forum on “global warming.” Mr. Stevens’ answer was that one of the guest speakers at the event will discuss how “global warming” may be impacting certain plant and animal species at the Oak Openings Preserve. Certainly, I’m appreciative of the natural beauty of the Oak Openings Preserve. However, in October of 2006, it was reported that, of the 133 marked cruisers operated by the Toledo Police Department, 122 of them needed to be immediately replaced. When every single one of Toledo’s police officers are patrolling our streets in safe vehicles, then perhaps I’ll give a little more thought as to what plants are having a tough time of it over at Oak Openings. Meanwhile, I still don’t have a clue what ensuring environmentally safe air and water for the City of Toledo has to do with certain plant and animal species at the Oak Openings Preserve.
The National Conversation on Climate Change Web site provides a template for a press release to be used by its participants. Using the template, the press release would read as follows:
“The City of Toledo is proud to bring people together to discuss what we as a community can and must do to curb global warming,” said the mayor. “The science is real and so are the solutions, and Toledo needs to act now.”
I have another press release to consider: “The City of Toledo is losing its population base and is facing a $12 million budget deficit. The citizens are being double-taxed for city services, and the police department is understaffed. The problems are real, and our city government needs to act yesterday.”
Jeff Tucker is founder of the political action committee Conservative Musicians for America.